Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is always difficult for me. I lost my mom many years ago and of course miss her still. Above is a work in progress as I experiment with acrylics. I am using an old photo of my mom, on the left, and her life long best friend, Tootsie, as a reference. They grew up in rural West Virginia. The photo was taken when they were teenagers.

My mom subsequently moved to Pittsburgh where she lived for the rest of her life. Tootsie married an insurance executive and lived in Chicago for a while. Eventually, she and her husband ended up in Georgia. They came to visit us a few times over the years and never failed to send a Christmas present.

After Tootsie passed, her husband became a novelist. Below is one of his books. The heroine was obviously based on his beloved wife.

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If you are lucky enough to have your mom with you today, give her a big hug.

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Book signing

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I’ll be one of seven local SW Florida authors signing our books today.

Book signings are a bit of a gamble. You never know how many people will show up and if they’ll be interested in your books. While I’m there, I hope to get the email addresses of lots of people to add to my newsletter list.

If you live in the area, I’d love to meet you.

You should be dancing

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Have you ever taken a Zumba class? Isabella “Izzie” Ramos, the heroine of the third book on my Calusa Town Tales Island Dream, is a zumba teacher.

I’ve taken two different Zumba classes. The first was at a gym. The teacher was young and extremely energetic. I went twice a week for a while but came home exhausted, dripping with sweat. When I caught a cold, I stopped attending and never went back.

The second “class” (really just a group of women with a DVD similar to this one) was far too easy. I barely had to exert myself. That one didn’t last long.

Some years ago, I used to go to Jazzercise classes. They were by far my favorite. Now, living on an island as I do, I can’t find a class close enough to go to. The nearest one is at least a 45 minute drive. I need the exercise, but not that much.

How about you? What is your favorite form of exercise? Do you participate in Zumba?

If you’d like weekly information about clean romances, please consider signing up for my newsletter. Email me at Fran@RusticatingintheTropics.com and I will send you a link to “Girls of the Month,” a short story I wrote based on my experiences dancing with Calendar Girls Florida.

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Second down

The No Regrets Groom by Taylor Hart

Last Play Masquerade Football Romances

A hot football player and a bet–what more could you want for Valentine’s day?

Ziggy Brady, center for the Denver Storm, doesn’t expect to dance with the woman who broke his heart ten years ago. But a bet issued by the owner of the Storm, is the catalyst for asking her. He certainly can’t believe she slaps him, and he really doesn’t know what to do when she throws in his face the fact her boyfriend is proposing later that night. The truth, is that Sophia Charles will always be his biggest regret.

Sophia Charles doesn’t want to dance with Ziggy Brady at a fundraiser; but his brother has ALS and she actually likes Ty. Ziggy, on the other hand, has serious ego issues and the media doesn’t help them by calling him Aquaman. When Ziggy shows up at her office asking her to go on a ‘bucket list’ trip for Ty to help create awareness and raise money to find a cure for ALS, she reluctantly agrees.

The No Regrets Tour consists of: driving cross country in a Retro RV, visiting an old Prison, staying at a Haunted Mansion, rafting the Snake River, and putting Graffiti Art on Devil’s Tower -which will most-likely land them in jail.

Sophia and Ziggy find themselves unable to stay away from one another. When Ty confesses to writing a bogus break up letter from Ziggy to Sophia ten years ago, all the reasons they should stay away from one another melt away. And they find themselves, laughing and talking and kissing and catching up for all the time they missed out on.

When Ty has a break down and the tour comes to a halt, they must make a choice–walk away from it all or forgive and have No Regrets!

From Taylor:

Ziggy might be one of my favorite characters because he’s been so broken by losing the love of his life the past ten years.
Through misunderstandings and intentional attacks, they never got their chance until now!
And watching their love story unwind was–gooey and swoony and so much fun!
I hope you love this second chance love story as much as I did!
Also, the Brady Brothers have a holy path to walk. One where they unite together for their brother, Ty, recently diagnosed with ALS. This disease is near and dear to my heart because I recently had a friend pass away from it. And my friend–changed my life by showing me how to better follow the Savior’s example through her smile in the face of heartache. Through her devotion when no one would have blamed her for falling apart. I miss her. And I hope more awareness will be created through my books. More empathy. More hope. More faith. And eventually a cure!
Thank you for reading and thank you for your love!

A portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to finding a cure for ALS.

Praise for The No Regrets Groom

Grab a box of tissues and get ready for tears and plenty of laughter! I’ve totally fallen for the Brady family-you get to know a little bit more of all of them in The No Regrets Groom. I’m looking forward to all of their stories with eager anticipation! Ziggy and Sophia’s love story is beautiful and romantic, crazy and laugh out loud fun, and inspiring with it’s lovely message of forgiveness, family, grace, and second chances. There is a wonderful theme running through this book that everything will happen, as it is supposed to, in God’s perfect timing. I giggled and sniffled through this book along with all of the wonderful characters, and in the end, despite having to stop multiple times to wipe my eyes, at the end of the book I’m smiling. I LOVED the ending!!!! ~Sarah Sarber

The No Regrets Groom is a sweet romance about a couple that loved each other in their school days, but due to family meddling are separated for years. Taylor Hart writes a fun and moving love story about them. The books also deals with ALS, and somehow, Ms. Hart manages to give it the seriousness that it calls for, while writing a beautiful romance. I loved the camaraderie and solidarity of the football teammates and of the Brady brothers. There is amazing forgiveness illustrated in the story. I love the idea of living such a life as to have no regrets. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well-written story. ~LGS

Giveaway Details

$20 Amazon Gift Code or $20 in PayPal Cash

Ends 2/17/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Highland sale

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Rhapsody and Rebellion by Aubrey Wynne

An enduring legacy… A rebellion… A destined love…
Raised in his father’s image—practical and disciplined—there are no gray lines interrupting the Earl of Stanfeld’s black and white world. Until his mother has a dream and begs to return to her Highland home.

Alisabeth was betrothed from the cradle. At seventeen, she marries her best friend and finds happiness if not passion. In less than a year, she’s a widow. Vowing to honor her husband’s memory, she joins his activist group of Glasgow weavers and is soon embroiled in the Radical War of 1820.

Crossing the border into Scotland, Gideon finds his predictable world turned upside down. Folklore, legend, and political unrest intertwine with an unexpected attraction to a feisty Highland beauty. But Lissie doesn’t trust the Englishman or the rising desire between them. When the earl learns of an English plot to stir the Scots into rebellion, he must choose his country or save the clan and the woman that stirs his soul.

Get your copy for just 99 cents for a limited time!

Excerpt :
The sound of horseshoes and carriage wheels crunched in the drive. A moment later, the heavy oak door slammed open. Calum Dalais filled the doorway, wild black curls clinging to his neck and strong jaws, a whip in his hand.
“Let’s go, my lovelies. We dinna know how long this uproar may last.” Sapphire blue glittered with urgency. “I’ve rented a hack to get us out of the city limits. The carriage is too tempting for the rabble.”
Maeve picked up her heavy skirts with one hand, grasped her reticule with the other, and hurried for the door. The footman tossed baggage on top of the hansom then returned to assist Maeve. Her heart beat rapidly as she settled on the frayed padded bench. A far cry from the soft velvet of their own carriage. Maeve had been delighted to accompany her parents to Edinburgh. Now she prayed for the safety of her Highland home.
“What if they stop the carriage? I’m frightened, Calum.” Panic added a shrill pitch to her mother’s voice.
“They’re just hungry and tired of not being heard. I willna let anyone harm come to ye.” Her father’s calm tone soothed both the women. “Now up ye go, Peigi, my love. We’ll be out of here in the blink of an eye.”
He sat across from them, rapped his knuckles against the roof, and the vehicle lurched forward. The horses whinnied in protest and sidestepped men running through the streets and debris flying in their path. Someone tried to hitch a ride on the side of the vehicle. Calum swore under his breath, leaned out the window, and punched the man in the face. The trespasser fell on his arse in the mud, holding his nose with one hand and a waving an angry fist in another.
The sun’s bright rays barely penetrated a dark, narrow alley as the driver took a detour to avoid the throng of rioters. Maeve peeked out the window and saw a glimpse of the square at the end of the backstreet, packed with hundreds of people streaming in from all sides. On a shoddily erected platform hung a noose, with a group of workers balancing what looked like a man on their shoulders. They tied the noose around his neck. One of his arms swayed unnaturally by his side, and she sighed with relief when bits of straw fell from the coat sleeve.
The driver cracked his whip, the hack careened around another corner, and they broke free of the crowd. As the noise subsided, Maeve listened to her parents argue about the political situation that had led to the insurrection. She leaned her head against the hard bench, each rut jerking her neck back and forth. It had been such a long day with little sleep the previous night. Her lids grew heavy, and her mind traveled back to the angry mob as she drifted off.

Praise for Aubrey Wynne:

“Well-written historical romance with a bit of everything – a tragedy, a conflicted hero, a strong and fragile heroine, interesting characters, and a happily ever after.” Amazon verified review

“Best Regency Romance I’ve read in a long time and highly recommend!”
N.N. Light Book Heaven Reviews

“I adored this story. I look forward to reading more in this series.”
Reads2Love Review

“A wonderful romance!”
5 Kindles Review

PLUS:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

50 Blast Giveaway

Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash

Ends 11/2/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Standing on ceremony-not (#MFRWAuthor)

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What are my writing rituals? This is the prompt for week 39 in the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. I would say I have a non-ritual.

I do have a set place where I do my writing. I sit on the couch with my laptop actually on my lap. This came as a surprise to a friend of mine. Evidently, she feels laptop computers should be placed on a hard surface to be used.

Although I am a musical person, I do not listen to music while I write as I understand some authors do.

I do not have a cup of tea, coffee, or an adult beverage nearby. Except when I do.

I don’t aim for a set number of words in a given session. I don’t write every day or at the same time every day. I know; I know. I should be doing these things. Will I mend my ways? Doubtful.

I can’t wait to read someone else’s rituals here. Clearly, I need some.